Meg is 8 and decided she would take care of her own packing. I fully support the kids taking that kind of initiative, so I allowed her to hand me the zipped up suitcase, but proceeded to interrogate.
Me: Did you pack shirts?
Meg: Of course.
Meg: Kind of. Do leggings and things count?
Me: Sure. Swimsuit?
Meg: What? What do I need a swimsuit for?
I finally convinced her that she needed her swimsuit and she included that as well. I felt very comfortable about her packing until I found a pile of about ten t-shirts she had neglected to take from the clean laundry. We threw the t-shirts in an extra bag and I look forward to opening that suitcase and seeing what she anticipated wearing without those shirts.
Then there's Clare. For days she has been asking me to help her pack. I kept telling her that I would help her as soon as I finished the last of her laundry. She began packing on her own. She included a black velvet-like dress suitable for a winter piano recital. She also included a heavy, fleece jacket that is so thick it took up half her suitcase. Yes, I did tell her it was going to be cooler in the mountains, but that's taking things a little too far. She conducted some sort off science experiment at her desk while I repacked her suitcase.
Hopefully we will get to our mountain getaway with everything we need. I've been concentrating so heavily on packing food that I'll probably forget some other obvious and essential group of items. But it should be fun regardless. How amazing to reach 50 years of marriage. Fifty years of choosing to stick by each other no matter what comes your way. My sister and her husband just celebrated 23 years of marriage. My husband and I will celebrate our 10th anniversary this fall. In celebrating my parents' fifty years of marriage, we will be celebrating what that marriage has produced. The secure home they gave us begat two more happy marriages. The two children they raised begat five joyful grandchildren who all adore their grandparents.